Friday, August 16, 2019

Huge distribution centre opened!

A day of celebrations marked the Harting Technology Group's official opening of its state-of-the-art European Distribution Centre (EDC) in Espelkamp (D). Up to 20,000 order items will be processed every day, with goods dispatched to customers on the day of order. Costing an estimated €45 million, the European logistics centre is the largest single investment in the 74-year history of Harting.
Around 10,000 packages can be shipped to customers and branches around the world every single day and the 20-metre-high shelf warehouse can accommodate approximately 7,000 pallets and 120,000 containers. A total of 2,000 containers can be taken in and out of the warehouse every hour. Installation work involved laying 100 kilometres of IT cabling, 40 kilometres of sprinkler piping and container conveyor technology with a total length of 1,000 metres.

Technical highlights include the highly-automated picking system and the storage area, which is optimally managed and efficiently utilised according to the respective order load and capacity. Cutting-edge Harting technology can be seen as soon as you enter the premises, as approaching vehicles are automatically recognised and the barrier lifted to grant access. RFID technology ensures that pallets are correctly placed and loaded. A driverless transport system is responsible for moving goods between the halls and independently selects the optimum route. The highly flexible logistics of the EDC also enable a fast response to changing economic or political framework conditions such as trade barriers.

Great emphasis was also placed on generating a sustainable energy supply. The power for the European Distribution Centre is supplied by a photovoltaic system installed on the roof, while the energy requirements for cooling and heating are covered by internally produced biomethane and a geothermal plant, for which 36 holes needed to be drilled to a depth of 150m. The implemented energy supply minimises Co2 emissions and the cost of the entire centre came in 27 percent lower than the figure originally calculated by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). 140 employees will work in the logistics centre in a two-shift system and benefit from ergonomically designed workstations, where pallets are lifted by almost a metre for picking, preventing employees from having to bend over constantly.

#PAuto #Europe  @harting @Harting_Group

Analysers for power industry applications.

Two analyzers for power industry applications have been announced by Endress+Hauser. The CA76NA monitors sodium, while the CA80SI analyzes for silica in boiler feedwater, steam, condensate and ion exchangers. Each analyzer can accept up to six sampling inputs.

The CA76NA potentiometric analyzer measures the concentration of dissolved sodium ions. An increase in sodium levels in boiler feedwater indicates the presence of unwanted dissolved impurities. This can cause corrosion, leaks, serious damage and expensive repairs. The analyzer monitors the water/steam circuit in power stations, condensate systems for values indicating ruptures, demineralization systems, steam and cation systems, and mixed bed exchangers.

The measurement is potentiometric using a special electrode system comprising an Na-sensitive electrode in conjunction with an Ag/AgCl reference electrode. It measures sodium over a range of 0.1 to 2000 µg/l (ppb) with accuracy and repeatabiliry of ±2%. Outputs include up to six 4-20mA channels, along with relays for alarms and warnings. The analyzer is also available with Profibus DP communications.

The Liquiline System CA80SI colorimetric analyzer provides precise online analysis of silica to protect plant equipment from deposits to ensure optimum performance of turbines and ion exchangers. Deposits of insoluble silicon dioxide on internal boiler walls, heat exchangers and turbine blades have an adverse effect on the efficiency of power plants and increase the risk of unplanned downtime and repairs. For this reason, the silica content in boiler feedwater must be monitored.

The CA80SI measures silica concentration from 0.5 to 200 µg/l or 50 to 5 000 µg/l, each with ±2% full scale accuracy. This allows the analyzer to determine the purity of boiler feed water and steam, and to provide early warnings of condenser leaks or exhaustion of ion exchangers. Its standard heteropoly blue analysis method allows direct comparability to lab results.

Seamless integration into process control systems is provided by Modbus, EtherNet/IP and PROFIBUS digital communication that can transmit advanced diagnostic information in addition to the measured variable.

Remote access via any device with a web browser is provided by an optional, integral web server, enabling full and secure access to the device configuration, measured values, diagnostic messages, logbooks and service data.

#PAuto #POwer @Endress_Hauser @Endress_US

Thursday, August 15, 2019

On a voyage of discovery faciltated by cameras.

Vivid knowledge transfer in the experimenta Heilbronn (D)

The largest Science Centre in Germany, experimenta, is located in the city of Heilbronn. It offers around 275 exciting exhibits in three exhibition worlds on an area of around 25,000 square meters. A wide range of stations has been developed, from simple to more sophisticated ones, where visitors can use all their senses to experience science and technology. IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH is a partner of experimenta: cameras from their base in the nearby town of Obersulm are integrated in seven stations and contribute to exciting and sometimes amazing insights.

"The visitors are to be stimulated by unusual exhibits and an emotionally appealing design to deal interactively with topics from science and technology. We would like to encourage them to think about everyday questions just as much as they do about questions of ultra-modern research," is how Managing Director Dr. Wolfgang Hansch explains the approach of experimenta. The Science Centre wants to stand for experimentation, knowledge and innovation in a special way. This is made possible by the unusual concept with the three different areas Discoverer Worlds, Experience Worlds and Researcher Worlds. In the Discoverer Worlds, the small and everyday things that often contain great discoveries are examined – with various IDS cameras contributing in diverse ways.

The "KopfSachen" (find out how the world gets into your head), for example, show how people perceive their environment, illustrated for instance by an IDS camera on the "pushing machine".

Cameras from Obersulm can also be found in the "ForscherLand“ (Immerse yourself in adventure): Children up to the age of 10 in particular can experiment and tinker in slow motion and on a small car racetrack.

Whether in the "hurricane experiment" or in the nature laboratory, on the “WeltBlick“ (understand how science is changing us) floor, the focus is on natural phenomena with the aid of state-of-the-art camera technology.

On the camera side, the topic of "research and writing" is presented in a particularly innovative way. In the "Greenbox" and at the three layout terminals of the "Newspaper Editorial Office", visitors can intuitively become editors themselves, made possible by the latest development from IDS. The IDS NXT vegas with App-based image processing is installed for a flexible, individual range of functions. Thanks to the app concept, the IDS NXT product platform is as versatile as a smartphone. A single camera can be used to perform a wide variety of image processing tasks.

The applications become even more diverse through the installation of artificial neural networks – with the IDS NXT rio & rome models, completely new applications can also be discovered in industry 4.0. In this way, small and large researchers at experimenta can gain a concrete insight into current scientific and research discoveries with the help of IDS camera technology. In every respect this is a benefit for the region and far beyond.

 #experimenta @IDS_Imaging

Biobank management.

The Matrix Gemini Biobank Management System from Autoscribe Informatics now offers even greater versatility with the inclusion of environmental monitoring and equipment calibration and maintenance monitoring capabilities. Matrix Gemini Biobanking provides a highly configurable environment for all aspects of biobank, biorepository and clinical trials management. It provides an ideal and proven solution for managing bio-samples (such as blood, tissue, DNA etc.) to assist with compliance to regulatory requirements.
With Biobanks typically storing samples in multiple freezers and refrigerators it is extremely important to ensure that this equipment is not only operating within specification, but also that it is being properly maintained and serviced according to the manufacturers’ recommendations. The Instrument Calibration and Maintenance System (ICMS) component of Matrix Gemini allows the status of each item of equipment to be tracked automatically as to whether it is available or unavailable and identifies events such as the maintenance period being exceeded etc. An automatic change of status occurs when calibration or maintenance is overdue and when it is performed. In this way the use of freezers and refrigerators can be prevented if they are not in service, out of maintenance, or out of calibration and samples can be moved if necessary. Automatic reminders of scheduled events are provided.

The addition of the environmental monitoring module allows for rooms and storage vessels to be monitored for temperature and other environmental conditions such as sterility and contamination. It can also be used for temperature mapping within freezers and refrigerators for the identification of hot or cold spots, which can be displayed graphically.

Complete location recording from room to freezer, shelf, container and container position is made easy with Matrix Gemini’s container view allowing graphical representation of the different container types. A full audit trail of all changes is provided, together with storage location auditing and reconciliation with chain of custody reporting. Samples can be tracked when they are removed for research and are closely monitored to ensure that they are disposed of correctly.

Using the built-in graphical configuration tools, Matrix Gemini Biobanking solutions can be adapted quickly and easily to represent exact user requirements in terms of workflows, screen designs, menu designs, terminology, report designs and much more.

 #Pharma @AutoscribeLtd @DenisBulgin

Facilitating easy bump tests!

An optional Premium Plus Case has been launched for Ion Science's range of high performance Tiger handheld photoionisation detectors (PIDs).

Capable of holding various PID accessories, the rugged, environmentally sealed Premium Plus Case has been specially developed by Ion Science to accommodate a 34L gas cylinder, allowing quick and easy on-site bump testing of its well proven Tiger volatile organic compound (VOC) monitors.

A bump test is a functional test of a gas monitor. Although not a regulatory requirement, it is the only way to ensure optimum performance of both sensors and monitor before use. It checks that the instrument respond to the challenge gas, verifies the display reacts and confirms that alarms are activated properly. The recommended bump test frequency is normally set by the instrument manufacturer.

A bump test works by briefly exposing the instrument to a known concentration of the challenge gas that exceeds alarm settings to confirm the sensor’s ability to respond.

The reading is compared to the actual quantity of gas present, as stated on the test gas cylinder. The instrument is working to the required standard if it goes into alarm and reads within an acceptable range of the actual concentration.

If the bump tests are not within the acceptable range, the PID must be fully calibrated before use.

Offering a robust and reliable design, the popular Ion Science Tiger handheld PID provides the widest measurement range on the market of 1ppb up to 20,000ppm. It is easy to set up and provides advanced VOC detection and software features. It has a fast response time of just two seconds and can be connected directly to a PC via the USB offering rapid data download capabilities.

The TigerLT is a streamlined, low cost version of the Tiger instrument. The entry-level PID also offers worldwide intrinsically safe certification for use in potentially explosive atmospheres and is ideal for environmental surveys.

Another handheld gas detector, the Tiger Select boasts two mode operation for the rapid and accurate detection of benzene and total aromatic compounds (TACs). Utilising the Ion Science 10.0eV lamp, a reading for TACs is seen immediately on start-up. Should TACs be detected, a pre-filter tube can be easily attached to ensure rapid detection and selective measurement of benzene.

#PAuto @ionscience  @elhcomms

Faster integration in projects and operations.

New HART-IP support simplifies link between field devices and AMS Device Manager, reducing asset management project installation costs by up to 85%

Emerson has expanded AMS Device Manager with HART-IP™ support, making it easier to connect with devices and control systems and potentially eliminate hundreds of thousands of dollars in project hardware and engineering. AMS Device Manager is used by thousands of facilities across the globe to streamline installation of field devices during capital projects, increase safety system uptime, and quickly and safely test devices from the control room.
By eliminating multiplexers, organisations can more easily use AMS Device Manager to configure, calibrate, validate, and document more of their HART-enabled field devices and systems.

“Asset management systems help integrate data between field devices and systems, making them useful for other on-prem or off-prem IIoT software and analytics. With better plant data integration, organisations can take an early, significant step to enable digital transformation,” said Mani Janardhanan, vice president of product management for Emerson’s Plantweb and reliability solutions.

Connecting field devices to asset management systems typically requires the use of multiplexers that significantly increase hardware costs and engineering hours during the project phase. According to FieldComm Group™, more than 40 million field devices use HART, a protocol designed to allow intelligent devices to communicate with host systems. HART-IP—now native on AMS Device Manager—allows asset management systems to bypass complex and expensive multiplexers and directly access measurement and diagnostics information from HART-enabled field devices using existing plant Ethernet networking infrastructure.

The current interface has been tested for connectivity to Schneider Electric Triconex® Tricon CX safety systems, HIMA HIMax safety systems, and Phoenix Contact multiplexers. Emerson will continue to test and add new systems to the list of those officially supported by the interface.

 #PAuto @EMR_Automation @Emerson_News @HHC_Lewis

New EU regulations for airconditioning plants.

Bans on the use of certain refrigerants as well as new regulations and rules on the operation, servicing and labelling of cooling and air-conditioning plants will come into force on 01 January 2020. Rittal has the answers to the users of refrigeration equipment questions on what to do now. Thanks to personalised advice and end-to-end service, operators can make their plants fit for the future, meet the requirements of the F gases regulation and improve their energy efficiency.

Reducing fluorinated greenhouse gases is a highly topical issue that is bearing down on the users and operators of refrigeration systems such as car manufacturers. Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases) are used as refrigerants in cooling units and climate control systems. In the future, emitting such climate-damaging substances (either as a result of targeted substitution or through the use of alternative technologies) will have to be reduced in order to limit their impact on global warming. EU Regulation No. 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases (the “F gases regulation”), which has been in force since 1 January 2015, aims to help reduce industrial emissions by as much as 70 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Specifically, the emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases) in the EU will need to be reduced by 70 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to 35 million tonnes of CO2e in 2030. Bans on the use of refrigerants with a GWP greater than 2,500 as well as new and amended regulations on the maintenance, servicing, leakage checking, certification, disposal and labelling of refrigeration equipment concerned will be in force from 1 January 2020.

Due to the bans on the use of F gases and on the marketing of products containing them, companies contemplate which cooling units and chillers they will still be allowed to use after 2020. Manufacturing plants, maintenance staff and energy managers can rely on the fact that Rittal have designed their climate control solutions in accordance with the F gases regulation for years so that they do not need to take any further action. As a service partner, Rittal also provides actionable advice for all cooling system users – including non-customers: From determining the actual condition of a system, calculating its efficiency, drawing up a recommendation for action and determining potential savings, setting up and commissioning a new system (including a maintenance contract) to disposing of old devices, Rittal is supporting plant operators with personalised assistance in overcoming the hurdles of the regulations and efficiency requirements. Customers benefit from cost transparency, qualified service technicians and warranty extensions.

The EU regulation is focussed on the gradual limitation of quantities of F gases in order to protect the environment. Consequently, industry, plant operators and end users must all gradually switch over to refrigerants with a lower GWP (Global Warming Potential) value. Just how future-proof cooling units will be will depend, among other things, on the refrigerant used. Enclosure cooling units and chillers from Rittal are not affected by these use bans as they operate with a hermetically sealed refrigeration cycle and because they run on approved refrigerant. Rittal provides detailed information on the F gases regulation (EU) 517/2014 in this whitepaper.

With the inception of F gases regulation, operators of refrigeration equipment with a defined amount of refrigerant will be obliged to carry out regular leakage tests. Operators can easily determine the extent to which an existing system is affected by the consequences of the F gases regulation by using the Rittal F-gas calculator: This online tool calculates the GWP value and the corresponding carbon dioxide equivalent based on the type of refrigerant being selected and on the amount of refrigerant being used. The carbon dioxide equivalent determines the action the operator will have to take in order to comply with the regulation.

All system parameters (as shown on the rating plate), as well as the type of refrigerant and the filling quantity per circuit are entered. The result is the carbon dioxide equivalent of the system. The admissibility of refrigerant replenishment in the event of a leakage, as well as practical advice for the operation of the current system are also shown.

Investment amortisation periods are always a criterion businesses need to factor in. In addition to possible savings by replacing older climate control systems with new and efficient technology, the payback period can also be shortened by benefiting from grants and/or subsidies. Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) for instance is promoting and initiating climate protection projects throughout Germany via its National Climate Initiative (NKI). When it comes to efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction, funding is being provided to support system operators. The goal is to increase the energy efficiency, reduce the need for refrigeration and to cut fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions in the refrigeration and climate control technology sector. Plant operators will therefore find they can benefit from subsidies from the BMU or the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) when replacing enclosure cooling units or chillers. The equipment and which activities are specifically subsidised will be surveyed and checked on a case-by-case basis. A company that specialises in making applications for funding supports plant operators at all the necessary stages and checks whether the same investment measure can be cumulated with other funding programmes. Detailed information in white paperState subsidies for the replacement of enclosure and process air conditioning."

#PAuto @Rittal @bmu @PresseBox

Protecting water resources.

The British Environment Agency has awarded a 4-year contract to Meteor Communications for the provision of telemetry systems, services and MeteorCloud data hosting for water quality monitoring systems located in English rivers and bathing waters.

The contract was awarded in June 2019 and ensures continuity of data from around 250 real-time water quality monitoring outstations. Monitoring Services Team Leader of the Agency’s National Laboratory Service, Frances Houston said: “We are now working with Meteor Communications to establish a highly effective and flexible monitoring capability that enables us to deploy real-time, remote water quality monitoring stations at almost any location. We now have the tools to better understand the dynamics of our water environment and provide our scientists with a rapidly deployable monitoring capability with which to detect a wide range of inputs to our rivers and streams.

“The kiosk systems are generally employed for longer term catchment scale monitoring whereas portable ‘suitcase’ systems enable the Agency to provide agile short term investigation and pollution response at a moment’s notice.”

All of the systems utilise 3G/GPRS roaming communications; providing 24/7 web-based access to high resolution water quality data. This provides the Agency with timely, cost effective and meaningful evidence helping to focus resources where they are most needed.

The outstations covered by the contract are ESNET (Environmental Sensor NETwork) modular monitoring systems, developed by Meteor Communications. The company’s portable and kiosk-based water quality monitoring systems employ multi-parameter sondes that can either be deployed directly in the water or installed in a specially designed chamber through which extracted water is pumped. Typical systems measure ammonium, pH, conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen and turbidity, with options for several other parameters including chlorophyll, and nitrate. Sondes are exchanged on a monthly basis and returned to the NLSi laboratory where they are serviced and calibrated before redeployment.

Expressing his delight with the award, Matt Dibbs, Meteor’s Managing Director, said: “Through continued development of our ESNET modular monitoring platform we are able to meet the Agency’s need for robust, reliable real-time data collection from any location. This gives us the ability to meet the requirements of anyone wishing to monitor water quality in rivers, wastewater effluent, lakes, reservoirs and bathing waters.”

#Environment #England @MeteorComms @EnvAgency @_Enviro_News

Service managers for EMEAI!

Servomex has enhanced its service support to customers with the appointment of two new Service Managers.

Neil Tiley (Upper right) is the new Service Manager EMEAI, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.

He joins the team from global medical technology company Getinge AB, where he was Service Director for the UK and Ireland, managing seven other managers and a total team of 170 field, business development and technical staff.

A keen sportsman, Neil holds an HNC in Mechanical & Production Engineering together with an Instrument and System fitter apprenticeship.

Nick Tan (Lower right) joins Servomex as Service Manager ROA, covering the Asia-Pacific region outside of China.

He previously worked at electrical equipment company ABB as Service Cluster Manager, handling the Regional Service Business in South East Asia. Nick studied at the university of western Sydney, where he obtained a degree in engineering management.

Both Neil and Nick will report directly to Global Head of Service Mark Calvert, who said: “I’m delighted that we’ve managed to secure such high-caliber additions to the global service team.

“Neil and Nick bring with them a great deal of experience supporting customers in their respective regions, and a wealth of knowledge about the specific challenges facing clients there.

“The skills and expertise they possess will greatly benefit our customers as we move forward with a global strategic approach to Servomex’s service support provision.

“Working with our existing service teams, they will ensure that our customers continue to receive the support they need to keep their processes running efficiently, with minimal downtime.”

@Servomex #PAuto @codacomms

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

IS humidity and temperature sensor.

The new intrinsically safe EE100Ex from E+E Elektronik is certified according to the European ATEX directive 2014/34/EU and the international IECEx standards for use in gas explosion hazard areas up to zone 1. The humidity and temperature sensor offers high measuring accuracy and is dedicated for demanding climate and process control.

The unit complies with temperature class T4 for intrinsically safe equipment and can be mounted directly in hazardous area. Due to the robust IP65 aluminum enclosure and the wide choice of filter caps, the sensor is suitable for various applications such as utility tunnels, hazardous storage rooms or in the pharmaceutical industry.

The sensor enables highly accurate measurement of relative humidity [RH] and temperature [T] in the range 0...100 % RH and -40...60 °C (-40...140 °F). The combination of robust sensing head, proprietary E+E sensor coating and encapsulated measurement electronics inside the probe ensures excellent measuring performance and long-term stability in harsh and corrosive environment.

The EE100Ex features two galvanically isolated, configurable 4…20 mA, 2-wire outputs. Besides RH and T, the sensor also calculates the dew point [Td] and frost point temperature [Tf].

The device can be powered by any appropriate intrinsically safe power source or via Zener barriers. An error indication at the analogue outputs according to the NAMUR standard facilitates troubleshooting in case of a malfunction.

• E+E Products are marketed in Ireland through Instrument Technology.

#Epulse #PAuto @Instrum_Tech

New Regional manager for surface inspection solutions.

AMETEK Surface Vision has appointed Éric Charette-Béchamp as its Regional Sales Manager for Canada.

Éric Charette-Béchamp
François Levac, Director of Sales – Americas, AMETEK Surface Vision, said: “We are delighted to welcome Éric to the AMETEK team. His industry experience and extensive skill set will be invaluable to new and existing customers of both AMETEK Surface Vision and Land.

“He will work closely with our regional distributors of AMETEK Land’s temperature measurement solutions, and with users of our SmartView® and SmartAdvisor® inspection systems, to provide integrated solutions for a range of market applications in Canada.”

In addition to AMETEK Surface Vision, he will also serve as Regional Sales Manager for AMETEK Land, reflecting the close application and market synergies between the surface inspection and temperature measurement process solutions provided by these two business units.

Éric has more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing sector in Canada. His expertise in after-sales service and problem-solving will benefit both the Surface Vision and Land customers across the country.

He joins AMETEK from Albany International, where he was a sales and service engineer for 14 years. He has also worked as a paper machine superintendent for Bowater (now Resolute Forest Product), in Donnacona, Quebec.

Éric holds bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering, as well as a master’s in Business and Administration (MBA), from the Université Laval in Quebec.

 @surfacevision #PAuto #Canada @codacomms

Industrial labels.

TE Connectivity (TE) has introduced new self-adhesive polyester rating labels, PR115. These custom-designed labels have UL969 category PGJI2 file MH29684 approval, which means that they can be printed by end-use product manufacturers using thermal transfer equipment.

“The PR115 labels are part of our Specialty Product Industrial label portfolio,” says Philippe Contri, TE product manager. “They are the result of the collaboration between TE and several customers in the Industrial sector, and are priced competitively.”

Customers can use the new PR115 labels to identify such items as motors, engine starters of electric vehicles, relays, hydraulic pumps and electrical installations, as well as on solar panels in areas where there is no direct exposure to the sun. The labels can be dispensed automatically, adding to the efficiency of automated assembly and production processes. They can be directly applied from the printer to the back of a solar module.

The 50-micron polyester labels, which have an operating temperature range from -40°C to +150°C, can be customized with pre-printed designs and applied on a large range of substrates including acrylic paint, aluminum and epoxy paint. With an acrylic adhesive thickness of 20 microns, they are recommended for smooth surfaces. Available in satin silver or gloss white, the labels are thermal transfer printable using TE’s current T200 Ident, T3212 and T3224 printers, along with the previous printer range TE3112 and TE3124.

 @TEConnectivity #PAuto

Chlor-alkali Process.

Chlor-alkali refers to the chemicals simultaneously being produced as a result of electrolysis of a saltwater or brine solution. Typically, the chlor-alkali process produces two chemicals, chlorine and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, NaOH). Over 95% of the world's chlorine is produced in the chlor-alkali process.

Monitoring the Cl2 and NCl3 impurity throughout the chlor-alkali process is vital for safety concerns, environmental regulations, and process efficiency purposes.

AAI's OMA-300-CL2 analyzer showcases a seamless dynamic range of the OMA Series from low ppm up to high % concentrations of chlorine and chlorine-based compounds. A flow diagram of the chlor-alkali process with measuring points is available upon request.

In the chlor-alkali process, using an electrolytic cell, chlorine is gathered by running an electric current across a brine solution. The 'wet' chlorine from the electrolytic cell is then purified further by removing moisture via a cooling tower, filtration and sulfuric acid drying towers. The gaseous chlorine is put through a liquefaction process where liquid chlorine is produced along with the byproduct tail gas/sniff gas stream, made up of the gas not liquified during liquefaction process. The tail gas/sniff gas stream is sent to a caustic scrubber for further gas processing. The final chlorine product from the chlor-alkali process often feeds directly into EDC/VCM plants which is a precursor to PVC.

@AAInc #PAuto

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Light on for SOLAS!*

The three months grace period on the amended Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Regulations has now expired, and exporters are now required to verify the weight of packed shipping containers. Sensor Technology is able to provide a simple, retrofittable solution for SOLAS compliance, and the company has already worked with a number of exporters who admitted to being “caught out” by the implementation of the legislation.

Tony Ingham
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) officially adopted the new SOLAS regulations n November 2014, and the legislation was fully implemented in July 2016, with a three month grace period to ease exporters through the changeover and prevent supply chain disruption or port congestion. Sensor Technology managing director Tony Ingham comments: “The intention of the SOLAS legislation is to reduce the number of accidents caused globally by containers whose weights have been erroneously declared. But many of the businesses we have spoken to have been unsure about how to implement the regulations, and worried how the legislation will be enforced.”

Under the legislation verification of the packed containers’ weight is a condition for vessel loading. Two methods of verification are acceptable: either weighing the loaded container or weighing the cargo and then adding the tare weight of the container.

“Cost of implementation has also been a concern, but Sensor Technology’s LoadSense technology provides a simple and cost-effective solution that meets the requirements of the legislation and provides a number of additional functions that will be of benefit to shipping operators,” says Ingham.

Easily incorporated within the crane hook, LoadSense allows weighing processes to be fully integrated with handling operations. All live data is captured in real time and can be transferred to a database, stored, totalised and analysed. An on-board single chip computer records, analyses and archives readings, while wireless communication capability can transfer data in real time to a host computer.

LoadSense employs internal batteries, which make its operation completely autonomous.
The LoadSense package includes the intelligent load sensor itself, plus a hand-held receiver display. The load sensor is based on proven strain gauge technology, and is calibrated as standard in the range from 1 to 20 tonnes, with other ranges up to 50 tonnes available soon.

“Safety legislation is always rigorously enforced, so exporters would be well advised to look at the SOLAS requirements very seriously,” advises Ingham. “The requirements are demanding, but they don’t have to be difficult. Our message to the industry is that we have simple solutions that meet the SOLAS requirements, which are highly cost-effective and easy to implement, and which can provide a number of features that can help exporters to further streamline their operations.”

* The word "solas" is the Irish word for "light".

@sensortech #Manufacturing #Marine

Monday, August 12, 2019

Delivering high quality regulators.

The industry-leading image dimension measurement systems Keyence design and manufacture allow its customers to perform accurate inspections at a level of speed and precision that is unparalleled.

One such customer is Pressure Tech. Established in the year 2000, Pressure Tech is a British manufacturer of high-quality stainless-steel pressure regulators for use on gas and liquid applications. Pressure Tech products provide accurate control to complex systems, and long-term reliability in service is a crucial requirement. The company´s extensive range of products is manufactured in Britain and is also covered by an ISO-9001 accreditation.

"We work closely with our customers and we listen to their specific needs to design products that deliver accurate system control" explains Keith O´Pray, Operations & System Manager at Pressure Tech. "Our business model also provides for a rapid response, enabling us to develop unique product designs within a matter of weeks for customers to evaluate." Thanks to Pressure Tech´s in-house machining and assembly, the company enjoys tight control over its production to maintain flexibility with minimal lead times.

From a technical point of view, a critical element of any Pressure Tech product is its ability to create a seal between two surfaces. Variance in the angle of a sealing part can be the difference between the part creating a seal or not. "We previously relied on a CNC programme and basic methodology to address this" continues the Operations & System Manager. "But, as we are always looking to enhance our internal processes, we were keen to source the latest measuring equipment to take this aspect of our production to the next level.

»With products being supplied throughout the world via our growing network of distributors, we were already recognised as a market leader for quality pressure regulators." And this meant an enviable reputation worth preserving.

Unsurprisingly, Keyence measurement systems became a focal point. Could a solution from the Japanese specialist meet the technical challenges Pressure Tech staff encountered on an everyday basis? For Pressure Tech, a company whose products long-term reliability is an absolute must, this was worth investigating.

After careful consideration, an IM-7000 Series Image Dimension Measurement System was acquired by Pressure Tech. The device was selected because of its range of specialist measurement tools, its built-in dimensional reporting feature and its speed of measurement - an essential feature on batch runs with low cycle times.

The new image measurement system allows Pressure Tech personnel to closely monitor the angle of all the external sealing surfaces manufactured, measuring accurately to within 0.01°. The results, according to Keith O´Pray, speak for themselves: since acquiring this system, "we have consequently been able to ensure repeatability of the machining process and the quality of the components produced."

New programmes can take just minutes to create and a full dimensional report for a part can be generated at the click of a button. "This means we are seeing benefits not only in the improvement and consistency of the parts produced, but also in the speed of measurement; given the complexity of some parts, this is imperative when working to tight deadlines," concluded O´Pray.

@Keyence_Int #PAuto 

Friday, August 9, 2019

VOC detector used by IVF facility.

The Assisted Conception Unit at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee (GB) has purchased an ION Science Tiger handheld volatile organic compound (VOC) detector in adherence with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFEA) regulations for air quality in tissue laboratories and to ensure optimum culture conditions for embryos. This follows an independent external review that recommended the facility upgrade to a more sensitive photoionisation detector (PID) that measured VOC levels in parts per billion (ppb).

Established in 1984, the Assisted Conception Unit at Ninewells Hospital is one of the oldest IVF facilities in Britain. It performs numerous investigations to ascertain why couples are not getting pregnant naturally and try to overcome fertility issues to achieve a pregnancy. Every year it has an average of 400 cycles of IVF and ICSI, and a further 250 cycles utilising previously frozen embryos.

With even low levels of VOCs potentially affecting embryo development, the Ninewells Hospital’s Assisted Conception Unit regularly monitors VOCs in its laboratories to minimise contaminants, maintain the best possible conditions and help ensure successful IVF outcomes.

Assisted reproduction is regulated and governed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in Britain. Philip Milne from the Assisted Conception Unit at Ninewells Hospital explains: “The aim of the HFEA regulation is to implement standards of air quality in laboratories where tissues are prepared for use in humans, including assisted conception facilities. Part of this is measuring and maintaining the air found in tissue laboratories with particle and microbial counts being done on a regular basis.”

Human embryos are very sensitive to the environment and although the incubators offer a relatively clean area for culture, sperm, eggs and embryos have to be handled and processed within the laboratory, exposing them to harmful VOCs which can impact embryo development. Whilst most Assisted Conception Units will have air purification technology or HEPA filters, these do not eliminate VOCs.

As a result, the Assisted Conception Unit uses a PID to monitor VOC levels within its laboratory. However, the facility’s previous VOC instrument measured in parts per million (ppm) but an independent external review recommended it was replaced with a more sensitive ppb instrument like the ION Science Tiger which is able to detect very low levels of VOCs.

Offering a robust and reliable design, the well proven ION Science Tiger boasts a market leading measurement range of 1 ppb to 20,000 ppm*. It is easy to set up and provides advanced VOC detection and software features. It also provides a response time of just two seconds and can be connected directly to a PC via the USB offering rapid data download capabilities.

Like all ION Science instruments, the Tiger incorporates the company’s latest MiniPID sensor and patented fence electrode technology for increased resistance to humidity and contamination.

Philip continues: “We needed a cost effective VOC instrument that was accurate, repeatable and user-friendly as our older one was cumbersome and difficult to use. The ION Science Tiger, purchased from Shawcity, fitted our ergonomic requirement whilst providing an affordable and reliable replacement.

“Regular monitoring of our laboratory’s air quality with the ION Science Tiger has shown very low levels of VOCs. With major building work taking place outside the air intakes from our laboratory, the use of the instrument is even more critical to maintaining those levels.

“We have been very pleased with the ION Science Tiger to date and would not hesitate to recommend it to other facilities,” he concludes.

@ionscience #Medical @elhcomms #Scotland

Low level force sensor.

The Type 9215A miniature force sensor from Kistler Instruments  is only 23.3mm long and 6.0mm diameter and weighs only 2.5g making it ideal for both laboratory and industrial applications where space is at a premium.

Applications include
Medical device testing
Contact force measurement on keys, switches, relays and similar components.
Measurement of spring characteristics
Measurement of electrical connector contacts extraction forces
Construction of highly sensitive miniature force plates for wind tunnel measurements.
Force measurements on automatic assembly machines, robots and micromanipulators.
This highly sensitive, piezoelectric force sensor is suitable for measuring quasi-static and dynamic tensile and compression forces from -20 to +200N in three calibrated ranges. The sensor has a sealed DIN 1.4542 stainless steel body with an M5x0.5 external mounting thread and an M2 tapped bore for force input. For higher force measurements, the Type 9217A has a measuring range from -500 to +500N, an overall length of 46mm and weighs only16g.

The highly sensitive measuring element fitted under preload gives the sensor very high rigidity which provides excellent dynamic response with a natural frequency of over 50 kHz combined with low sensitivity to transverse force and acceleration over the -50°C to +180°C operating temperature range.

The versatility offered by the three measuring ranges, 2N, 20N and 200N, and the low force sensitivity make the new sensor exceptionally suited to a wide range of applications in product testing and for highly sensitive force measurements in research and development.

 #Kistler #PAuto

Urgent/11 free - reassurance!

The recent announcement of security vulnerabilities discovered in the Wind River® VxWorks® IPnet TCP/IP stack has prompted questions from Opto 22 customers about what impact this discovery may have on TCP/IP-based products developed and manufactured by Opto 22.

(Armis logo for Urgent/11)
"Opto 22 would like to reassure our customers that, after careful and thorough review, we can state that none of our hardware or software products contain the VxWorks IPnet TCP/IP stack or variants of that software and are, therefore, not directly exposed to any attacks that might target these vulnerabilities. This statement applies to the recent Opto 22 product family groov EPIC® (edge programmable industrial controller), the groov® Edge Appliance (groov Box), the SNAP PAC® System, and SNAP Ethernet I/O® products."

These security vulnerabilities, dubbed URGENT/11 by Armis, an enterprise IoT security firm that made the discoveries, have far-reaching implications and affect an extremely large array of industrial, medical, and enterprise environments. These include mission-critical systems such as SCADA, industrial controllers, PLCs, PACs, and more. Other systems outside traditional industrial devices like patient monitors and MRI machines, as well as firewalls, routers, modems, VOIP phones, and printers are also affected.

Specific information about the eleven CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) related to the URGENT/11 discovery may be found on Wind River’s webpage.

Due to the fundamental design of industrial controllers and how they connect to a wide range of devices, some may confuse firmware vulnerabilities such as URGENT/11 with better known viruses and malicious software we frequently hear about. It is important to understand that only
the devices that have embedded the affected IPnet TCP/IP stack are subject to attacks that target this vulnerability.

Opto 22 cannot respond to or address the possible risks or exposures created by hardware and software products manufactured by other companies. It’s important to carefully review the information provided by manufacturers of the hardware and software that run your applications and networks, making sure that they clearly indicate the specific model numbers or product names affected by this vulnerability.

Customers should be aware that some companies might use Opto 22 language or terms (for example, “EPIC controller”) to describe their products. These are general descriptions and have absolutely no connection to the Opto 22 groov EPIC® controller, a product name that is a registered trademark owned by Opto 22 and protected under the USPTO trademark laws of the United States. Be sure to check specific model numbers and product names, not just general descriptions, in order to minimize confusion.

For a list of affected companies and links to published advisories and their products, a visit to the URGENT/11 webpage on the Armis website for more information.

@opto22 #PAuto #Cybersecurity @WindRiver @ArmisSecurity

Protecting remote I/O installations.

Intertec is launching a range of tough field enclosures for housing remote I/O and other control and instrumentation electronics, featuring compact passive cooling to dramatically reduce costs of ownership. The new enclosures help EPCs and processing plant engineers to eliminate the need for large and costly plant buildings such as satellite instrument houses or remote instrument enclosures - which often need to be air conditioned and blast- and fire-resistant.

Fabricated from GRP (glassfibre reinforced polyester) materials, the enclosures provide rugged dust- and water-proof environments to protect remote control equipment located deep inside processing areas. Developed at the request of clients, the enclosure concept simplifies the roll-out of more versatile distributed control architectures containing field equipment such as software-configured I/O, IIoT networking and PLCs. The advance can allow field control equipment enclosures to be assembled and sealed in the factory - an efficient and cost effective process - avoiding the need for opening and exposure to dangerous local conditions at the site during installation and operation.

The ability of Intertec GRP enclosures to be fabricated with embedded insulation (a monolithic sandwich with layers of GRP sheet enclosing insulation) is a major virtue. Insulation is commonly required because modern remote I/O applications use sensitive electronic devices, with lifetimes and reliabilities that are drastically reduced by overheating. Efficient insulation helps protect against temperature extremes. This is one reason why the simple steel cabinets widely used for cabling-related field junction boxes are not adequate for some of the more sophisticated remote I/O applications now being deployed.

Because of the electronic devices used, some form of cooling may also be required. If power is available at site, this can be in the form of conventional fan cooling. However, the temperature stability of highly insulated GRP boxes also makes it possible to efficiently exploit passive cooling techniques which require no electricity and have no moving parts - also making them suitable for deployment in hazardous areas. A tank of water plus a heat exchanger utilise the coolness of the night to moderate interior temperature during the day.

As many advanced remote I/O applications will - by their nature - be compact and small, Intertec has designed new passive cooling systems for smaller-sized cabinets and enclosures. These include a passive cooling system with a heat exchanger that doubles as a sunshade. The performance of the passive cooler can also be boosted by a small active element – such as a water cooler. Intertec can fabricate passively cooled field protection systems like this in enclosure and box sizes down to around 40 litres in volume.

 #Intertec #PAuto

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Ten thousanth visitor to Industrie4.0 centre!

In July, the Haiger-based Rittal Innovation Center (D) welcomed its 10,000th visitor three years after its opening. The great interest visitors have shown in live presentations and training courses underscore the high demand for innovations in panel building and switchgear manufacturing. Rittal, Eplan and Cideon showcase consistent implementation of Industry 4.0 concepts located here on a floor space of more than 1,500 square metres. The presentation and training centre, which is unique in the industry, is constantly being further developed and expanded.

A group of visitors from the German satellite broadcaster ProSiebenSat1 Media SE were in for a surprise on 4 July 2019. Gunnar Scharf, (above left) one of its members, was the 10,000th visitor to the Rittal Innovation Center. The IT expert received a certificate and a gift from Jan-Henry Schall,  (right) Head of the Center.

“I felt honoured to be the 10,000th visitor of the Rittal Innovation Center. I think Rittal has fully understood the relevance of Industry 4.0 for its customers, ” wrote Gunnar Scharf in the guest book. Further inspiring entries of the visitors in the guest books document the uniqueness of the innovation and training centre. An African visitor group wrote: “Here we found the answer we were looking for. Thank you very much.” And a German group sums up their visit as follows: “Our shopping list just got longer and longer. Very interesting applications.”

Can the concept of Industry 4.0 be applied to panel building and switchgear manufacturing? Which process stages can be become significantly more efficient? Is it possible to manufacture batch sizes of just one efficiently? Panel building and switchgear manufacturers are facing these questions all over the world, as efficiency and cost pressures drive the need for solutions that are practical and quick to deploy. 

“We want to provide our customers with meaningful guidance on how to keep on expanding their value-added processes,” explains Jan-Henry Schall. “The great interest of people in our Innovation Center, with 10,000 visitors since September 2016, shows that there is a great demand for solutions that help to streamline processes in panel building and switchgear manufacturing. The focus of our interested visitors is on exchanging technical information with experts.”

To help achieve this, customers and visitors can see, experience and try out the latest solutions for their own value chains at this innovation and training centre, and discuss them with experts from the Friedhelm Loh Group. In order to give them a hands-on and understandable experience, the Friedhelm Loh Group set up the fictitious manufacturing operation. “This operation gives people a real-world understanding of the solutions we can offer during the individual process stages – starting with engineering, through production planning, goods receipt, machining, assembly, wire processing and wiring to the finished switchgear. Industry professionals can thus quickly recognise the advantages and how they can benefit from them,” explains Jan-Henry Schall.

Visitors gain an insight into virtual prototyping using the latest software solutions from Rittal and Eplan for electrical design, resulting in a completely digital switchgear system. Interfaces to the commercial processes and in particular to the subsequent production at the switchgear manufacturer represent another important component of the presentation. Visitors may also have a closer look at Eplan and Rittal technology that lends itself to production, i. e. the workshop of switchgear manufacturers, ranging from fully automated to partially automated systems and digitally supported solutions for manual process stages.

Rittal is constantly expanding and updating the design of the Innovation Center. The company is currently expanding its live demonstrations in the field of “digitalization of value chains” area. “We will pool Rittal’s expertise in IT infrastructure with solutions from our sister companies Innovo Cloud and German Edge Cloud and demonstrate them by using new live-use cases. We are thus presenting further future-driven industry 4.0 solutions from the Friedhelm Loh Group in the field of digitalization," says Jan-Henry Schall.

A group of visitors from the German satellite broadcaster ProSiebenSat1 Media SE were in for a surprise on 4 July 2019. Gunnar Scharf, one of its members, was the 10,000th visitor to the Rittal Innovation Center. The IT expert received a certificate and a gift from Jan-Henry Schall.

“I felt honoured to be the 10,000th visitor of the Rittal Innovation Center. I think Rittal has fully understood the relevance of Industry 4.0 for its customers, ” wrote Gunnar Scharf in the guest book. Further inspiring entries of the visitors in the guest books document the uniqueness of the innovation and training centre. An African visitor group wrote: “Here we found the answer we were looking for. Thank you very much.” And a German group sums up their visit as follows: “Our shopping list just got longer and longer. Very interesting applications.”

@Rittal #PAuto #Industrie4.0 @RittalIreland

RoHS compliance declared.

Anglia has completed its compliance for the latest RoHS standard commonly referred to as RoHS 3*. Anglia is shipping RoHS 3 compliant inventory to customers unless it has received a specific request for non-RoHS items such as those typically required for Military & Aerospace applications. Customers can now also download the updated RoHS 3 declaration for all applicable parts directly from Anglia Live.

Claire Stevenson
Commenting, Claire Stevenson, Quality Manager of Anglia, said, “As a result of diligent stock management during the transition period, we are pleased to confirm Anglia’s inventory complies with the new RoHS 3 standard. Certificates of RoHS compliance can be downloaded from Anglia Live allowing customers to complete their own compliance documentation. Any exceptions are clearly identified within Anglia Live, and remain available to customers with appropriate exemptions.”

She continued, “Anglia’s inventory was largely compliant over six months before the deadline. Continuing intensive work with our suppliers allowed us to complete our preparations in a timely fashion. We have purged our warehouse of non-compliant stock ahead of the deadline, allowing us to commit to shipping compliant inventory to our customers.”

The latest RoHS (EU 2015/863) standard was announced in 2015 and expanded the list of restricted substances from six to ten by adding four additional phthalates. The deadline for compliance with these provisions was 22nd July 2019. Although it is an EU directive, it has been widely adopted in many other regions across the globe and will continue to apply to British industry following Brexit.

*RohS Guide

@angliaLive #PAuto #Brexit @NeeshamPR

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A first in accelerators built for cloud and edge Data Centres.

Xilinx has expanded its Alveo data center accelerator card portfolio with the launch of the Alveo™ U50. The U50 card is the industry’s first low profile adaptable accelerator with PCIe Gen 4 support, uniquely designed to supercharge a broad range of critical compute, network and storage workloads, all on one reconfigurable platform.

The Alveo U50 provides customers with a programmable low profile and low-power accelerator platform built for scale-out architectures and domain-specific acceleration of any server deployment, on-premise, in the cloud and at the edge. To meet the challenges of emerging dynamic workloads such as cloud microservices, Alveo U50 delivers between 10-20x improvements in throughput, latency and power efficiency. For accelerated networking and storage workloads, the U50 card helps developers identify and eliminate latency and data movement bottlenecks by moving compute closer to the data.

Powered by the Xilinx® UltraScale+™ architecture, this card is the first in the Alveo portfolio to be packaged in a half-height, half-length form factor and low 75-Watt power envelope. The card features high-bandwidth memory (HBM2), 100 gigabit per second (100 Gbps) networking connectivity, and support for the PCIe Gen 4 and CCIX interconnects. By fitting into standard PCIe server slots and using one-third the power, the Alveo U50 significantly expands the scope in which adaptable acceleration can be deployed to unlock dramatic throughput and latency improvements for demanding compute, network and storage workloads. The 8GB of HBM2 delivers over 400 Gbps data transfer speeds and the QSFP ports provide up to 100 Gbps network connectivity. The high-speed networking I/O also supports advanced applications like NVMe-oF™ solutions (NVM Express over Fabrics™), disaggregated computational storage and specialized financial services applications.

From machine learning inference, video transcoding and data analytics to computational storage, electronic trading and financial risk modeling, the Alveo U50 brings programmability, flexibility, and high throughput and low latency performance advantages to any server deployment. Unlike fixed architecture alternatives, the software and hardware programmability of the Alveo U50 allows customers to meet ever-changing demands and optimize application performance as workloads and algorithms continue to evolve.

Alveo U50 accelerated solutions deliver significant customer value across a range of applications, including:

  • Deep learning inference acceleration (speech translation): delivers up to 25x lower latency, 10x higher throughput and significantly improved power efficiency per node compared to GPU-only for speech translation performance1;
  • Data analytics acceleration (database query): running the TPC-H Query benchmark, Alveo U50 delivers 4x higher throughput per hour and reduced operational costs by 3x compared to in-memory CPU2;
  • Computational storage acceleration (compression): delivers 20x more compression/decompression throughput, faster Hadoop and big data analytics, and over 30 percent lower cost per node compared to CPU-only nodes3;
  • Network acceleration (electronic trading): delivers 20x lower latency and sub-500ns trading time compared to CPU-only latency of 10us4;
  • Financial modeling (grid computing): running the Monte Carlo simulation, Alveo U50 delivers 7x greater power efficiency compared to GPU-only performance5 for a faster time to insight, deterministic latency and reduced operational costs.

What does industry think?
“Ever-growing demands on the data center are pushing existing infrastructure to its limit, driving the need for adaptable solutions that can optimize performance across a broad range of workloads and extend the lifecycle of existing infrastructure, ultimately reducing TCO,” said Salil Raje, executive vice president and general manager, Data Center Group, at Xilinx. “The new Alveo U50 brings an optimized form factor and unprecedented performance and adaptability to data center workloads, and we continue to build out solution stacks with a growing ecosystem of application partners to deliver previously unthinkable capabilities to a range of industries.”
The Alveo U50 is sampling now with OEM system qualifications in process. General availability is slated for fall 2019.

Flash Memory Summit:
Xilinx is showcasing the Alveo U50 and other product demonstrations in booth 313 at Flash Memory Summit (FMS) 2019, taking place August 6-8 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif.

Additionally, Salil Raje, executive vice president and general manager, Data Center Group, at Xilinx, will be giving a keynote titled, “FPGAs: The Key to Accelerating High-Speed Storage Systems” on August 7 at 2:40 p.m. PT in the Mission City Ballroom.
“The forthcoming 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor is ideally suited for data center-first accelerators like the Alveo U50 that combine compute, network and storage acceleration all on the same platform,” said Raghu Nambiar, vice president & CTO of application engineering at AMD. “Taking advantage of AMD’s leadership, first x86 server-class PCIe 4.0 CPU, the Alveo U50 will be the industry’s first adaptable accelerator card with PCIe 4.0 support. We look forward to working with Xilinx to combine the benefits of AMD EPYC based solutions with Alveo acceleration to hyperscale and enterprise customers.”

“IBM is excited about the expansion of the Xilinx Alveo portfolio with the addition of the Alveo U50 adaptable accelerator card,” said Steve Fields, Chief Architect for IBM Power Systems. “We believe the combination of low-profile form-factor, HBM2 memory performance, and PCIe Gen 4 speed to interface with IBM Power processors will enable the OpenPOWER ecosystem to provide cutting edge adaptable acceleration solutions.”

“With the smaller design and advanced features of the Alveo U50, Xilinx is well positioned to expand the markets for acceleration with configurable logic,” said Karl Freund, senior analyst, HPC and deep learning, Moor Insights & Strategy. “The new Alveo U50 should allow them to break through the market noise with demonstrated and dramatic performance advantages in high-growth use cases.”

“We are excited to be collaborating with Xilinx at FMS, showcasing the flexibility and performance of the Alveo U50 and our OpenFlex composable NVMe-oF platform,” said Scott Hamilton, senior director of product management, Data Center Systems business unit at Western Digital. “Xilinx is leading the charge in fabric-based computational storage using NVMe-oF to enable full disaggregation of server resources. We believe the new Alveo U50 will be an important part of the ecosystem as organizations take a truly disaggregated approach to SDS infrastructure.”

@XilinxInc #PAuto @NeeshamPR

E-learning in automation.

Industrial companies can better fill critical skilled positions by providing flexible training that accommodates workers’ busy personal and professional lives. New e-learning courses from Rockwell Automation equip workers with the skills they need to support modern industrial operations, while allowing the training to occur at a time, pace and place that’s right for each worker.

The courses cover a range of topics to help engineers, technicians and IT personnel design, implement and maintain industrial control systems. Currently, 14 courses are available spanning six technology areas:
  • Industrial control
  • Motion control
  • Safety
  • Power control
  • Visualization
  • Industrial networking
The e-learning courses are self-paced and self-directed. Trainees can take them on any tablet or PC. And they can start and stop courses at their own convenience.

The interactive courses help reinforce learning concepts using a mix of activities, simulations and videos. All content is also narrated and has a viewable transcript. Trainees are awarded continuing education units (CEU) after they complete courses and pass required knowledge assessments.

@ROKAutomation #Pauto

Digital Transducer Interface (DTI) technology.

Kistler's new Digital Transducer Interface (DTI) technology, a single end-to-end bus wiring system, is all that is required to take the measurement signal from every sensor to the data recorder. DTI converts each signal into a unique, time stamped digital output either directly in the Kistler DTI sensors or via suitable Kistler DTI A/D converters connected to any existing sensors.
Kistler's DTI provides a single-cable solution that greatly simplifies vehicle dynamics and durability tests; a solution to meet future challenges. SyncSwitch, the latest addition to the Kistler DTI data logger system, has substantially increased capacity to 288 channels connected by a single Ethernet cable to a computer for real time, on-site evaluation.

Kistler is the only manufacturer to partner with automobile manufacturers by offering efficient test setups that feature additional benefits such as automatic sensor detection. For OEMs with limited resources available for the necessary tests, DTI is an efficient way of speeding up processes without compromising on precision, safety and reliability.

The new system provides users with a complete measuring chain from sensor and the DTI-Logger to the user interface with KiCenter software. Typical applications include brake path measurement with straightforward ABS braking to DIN 70028 with many advantages including: fast, simple and clear wiring automatic sensor detection easy access to installed position, calibration values and physical parameters step-by-step configuration with KiCenter PC software interference free and synchronized data transmission via the new DTI logger with Ethernet connection

Even complex test setups require only one cable to configure the sensors, transmit and synchronize the measurement data, and provide the power supply to work efficiently and save time so test engineers can focus on the measurement tasks.

Comprehensive vehicle dynamics, durability and tyre tests involve a series of physical parameters such as acceleration, braking pressure, strain, steering forces and moments, side-slip angle and temperature. The substantially increased capacity of the new DTI bus system allows a measurement solution that is able to conveniently acquire and analyse all these key variables. The DTI-Logger plus the new SyncSwitch enables the data from a total of 288 sensors to be synchronized automatically and transmitted via a single Ethernet cable to a laptop or PC for on-site evaluation.

The new DTI technology from Kistler enables the use of a continuous bus system throughout the entire measuring. Only one cable is required for data transmission, synchronization, configuration and power supply, significantly reducing the wiring effort. This makes the actual measurement process extremely efficient and reduces sources of error in the application.

#Kistler #Automotive

Monday, August 5, 2019

The economic environment.

The Irish economy has continued to grow at a strong pace, supported by the buoyancy of domestic economic activity and strong growth in exports, despite the rise in uncertainty about economic prospects and increasing external headwinds.

On the domestic side, the strong growth momentum has been underpinned by continued robust and broad-based growth in employment and increasing earnings, while also being supported by continuing favourable financial conditions and further improvement in the financial situation of households and businesses. As a result, consumer spending, even though held back a little by uncertainty, has grown strongly, while the rebound in some key components of domestic investment, such as building and construction, has continued to gather pace. On the external side, despite a less favourable international economic environment, export growth has surprised on the upside, although it is notable that growth has been concentrated in a small number of sectors, dominated by multinational firms.

Looking ahead, the outlook remains positive but subject to heightened levels of risk and uncertainty. The Central Bank’s central forecast, prepared on the basis that a disorderly, no-deal Brexit can be avoided, is that underlying economic activity will grow at a relatively solid pace in coming years, though some moderation in growth is in prospect in 2019 and 2020. The projected moderation in growth reflects both the dampening influence of the less favourable global growth outlook and the gradually limiting impact of emerging domestic capacity constraints.

In the central forecast, the main impetus to growth in 2019 and 2020 is expected to come from the continued expansion in underlying domestic demand, reflected in solid growth in consumer spending and underlying investment (which excludes the volatile categories of investment in intangibles and aircraft). The expansion in underlying activity over the forecast horizon is projected to be driven by continuing gains in employment and incomes, though a moderation in employment growth from its recent very strong growth rate is projected over the forecast horizon. Nevertheless, and reflecting the impact of the stronger recent data, this implies annual employment growth 0.3 per cent higher for this year than in the projections published in the last Bulletin. On the external side, export growth is forecast to grow more in line with moderating demand in Ireland’s main trading partners, though net exports are projected to continue to contribute positively to growth over the forecast horizon.

Reflecting the resilience of both domestic demand and export growth in the first half of 2019 and the recent strength for employment growth, the central forecasts for 2019 and 2020 have been revised upwards compared to those published in the last Bulletin. Largely as a result of higher forecasts for consumer spending in 2019 and 2020, underlying domestic demand is now projected to grow by 4.4 per cent this year and 3.3 per cent in 2020, upward revisions of 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively. Allied to some increase to the export growth forecasts, to take account of strong recent data, GDP is now projected to grow by 4.9 per cent in 2019 and 4.1 per cent in 2020, which is 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent higher, respectively.

However, there are material domestic and external risks to this forecast. On the external side, Brexit remains the most salient risk. In the January 2019 Quarterly Bulletin, the Bank set out its estimate of a disorderly, no deal Brexit on the Irish economy. While uncertainty necessarily attaches to an exercise of this type, the estimates suggest that such an outcome would reduce output growth by 4 percentage points in the first year, with output lower by 6 per cent after 10 years, compared to a no-Brexit scenario. These estimates remain unchanged and Box B (page 23) in this Bulletin applies this analysis to look at the possible implications for the central forecasts of a disorderly, no-deal UK exit from the EU on 31 October 2019. The results imply that GDP growth for 2019 would be reduced from 4.9 to 4.5 per cent, while in 2020 growth would fall from 4.1 to 0.7 per cent. With regard to other impacts, the estimates suggest that, by the end of 2020, there would be around 34,000 fewer jobs in the economy compared to the level of employment projected in the central forecast, while the General Government Balance-to-GDP ratio would be around 0.75 per cent worse.

On the external side, in addition to Brexit, risks in relation to international trade and taxation persist and, given the important role of multinational firms within the economy and the growing concentration of export growth, it is important to build the resilience of the economy to possible shocks to the sector.

On the domestic side, the recent strength of growth in output and employment have further elevated the cyclical position of the economy, eroding already limited domestic spare capacity (See Byrne, S. and T McIndoe Calder (2019): ‘Employment growth: Where do we go from here?’). In the event that a disorderly, no deal Brexit can be avoided, underlying economic activity is expected to perform strongly in 2019 and 2020. Given the already cyclically advanced stage of the economy, there is a material risk that continued strong expansion could give rise to overheating and generate sustained upward wage pressures. An article published in this Bulletin, ‘Modelling Overheating Risks in the Irish Economy’, examines this issue. It shows that rising wages in an upturn could lead to boom-bust dynamics, in the form of a subsequent loss of competitiveness and a fall in output, if wages are not flexible downwards when buoyant economic conditions dissipate. While an increase in inward migration can help to mitigate overheating dynamics in the labour market, at the same time, it can create higher demand and generate additional pressures in other parts of the economy. Appropriate macroeconomic management can help navigate these challenges and fiscal policy can play an important role in containing excess demand and avoid placing excessive strain on an economy operating close to capacity.

The current constellation of risks and uncertainties facing the economy increases both the challenge and importance of charting the appropriate fiscal policy path. If a disorderly Brexit can be avoided, the underlying outlook and, in particular, the risk of overheating, emphasises the importance of a more ambitious improvement in the fiscal position. With output at or close to potential, a tighter fiscal policy would help to manage demand pressures. The uncertain environment also highlights the necessity of reducing the dependence on potentially transitory revenues to fund lasting spending commitments. It would be more prudent to save rather than spend windfalls to mitigate pro-cyclical dynamics and build buffers to facilitate a stabilising countercyclical fiscal expansion in the event of a future downturn. Failure to run sufficient surpluses during phases of good economic performance may limit the room for manoeuvre in the future. The current strong economic performance is to be welcomed but, to ensure that the economy remains on a sustainable growth path, it is important that fiscal policy be pro-active in mitigating pro-cyclical dynamics.

If a disorderly Brexit were to occur, on the other hand, there would be a material deterioration in the fiscal position and the fiscal environment would be significantly more challenging. In addition to allowing the regular automatic stabilisers to operate fully, there may also be the need to provide temporary and targeted support to the sectors most affected. In the case of a wider, more severe economic impact, it may be appropriate to provide a broader fiscal support package. It is important that any fiscal response is consistent with long-run debt sustainability and does not undo the hard work in re-establishing Ireland’s fiscal credibility and risk the emergence of unsustainable debt dynamics.

Central Bank of Ireland Quarterly Bulletin No.3 2019

@centralbank_ie #Breatimeacht #Brexit #Ireland